ILOILO CITY—The Department of Social Welfare and Development Region 6 (DSWD 6) on Tuesday warned of the expulsion of non-eligible beneficiaries from the Social Pension Program.
DSWD 6 Regional Director Rebecca Geamala, in a media interview, said their department has recently received reports there were nonqualified senior citizens included by the local government units in their list of program beneficiaries.
“We will be delisting non-eligible elderly in the program. While we know this might offend some, we have to follow the guidelines,” she said.
Based on the department’s guidelines, qualified beneficiaries of the social-pension program include those who are 60 years old and older; who are frail, sickly or with disability; without regular income or support from family and relatives; and without pension from private or government institutions.
“Some are also receiving pension from the Government Service Insurance System [GSIS] and Social Security System. That is a big no-no. No matter how small they are receiving in their pension from such agencies, they cannot avail themselves of the social pension from the government because we have to abide by the guidelines,” Geamala added.
Judith Tanate, the DSWD 6 focal person for Persons with Disabilities and Older Persons, said there are currently 365,908 beneficiaries of the social-pension program in the whole region. Iloilo province has the most number of beneficiaries with 147, 736.
This year the department allotted P2,195,448,000 for the pension of the beneficiaries. Each of them is receiving P1,500 every quarter.
However, Tanate said they could not determine yet the number of beneficiaries who would be delisted from the program, as they are still securing the official list of pensioners from other private and government institutions so they could cross-match them with the list of beneficiaries of social-pension program.
She said they have secured so far the list of pensioners from the GSIS and the Philippine Veterans Affairs Office. The DSWD here enjoined all local government units in the region to ensure that only those who are qualified should get the social pension and to effect immediately the delisting of those who are nonqualified.